Christopher joined Watsi on December 24th, 2014. Five years ago, Christopher joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Christopher's most recent donation traveled 8,300 miles to support Myo, a 22-year-old young man from Burma, to fund heart surgery.
Christopher has funded healthcare for 71 patients in 11 countries.
Christopher has funded healthcare for 71 patients in 11 countries.
Myo Htay is a 22-year-old who lives with his parents and younger brother in the border region of Burma. His parents work as day laborers at a gold mine, carrying dirt and debris. Myo used to work with his parents but stopped last November when his health deteriorated. Because the gold mine closes during the rainy season, his parents only have work for six months out of the year. The rest of the time they try to live off of their savings. Around six months ago, Myo started to feel tired when he worked. At first he thought he was tired from working too hard. When he continued to feel tired for over a month, he thought that he needed to see a doctor. However, because of their limited funds, he did not want his parents to spend what they had on a trip to a clinic or a hospital. Around the middle of April, his condition worsened. He had difficulty breathing, experienced chest pain, and also heart palpitations. His parents brought him to a nearby hospital where he was diagnosed with a heart disease. The doctor told them to bring him to Yangon for further treatment. After Myo's parents borrowed money, they went to Yangon and took him to two different hospitals. At the last hospital, Myo was admitted for five days as he was unwell at that time. He received a follow-up appointment for two weeks later, but was brought back on April 30th when he developed rapid breathing, heart palpitations, chest pain and oedema (swelling) in both his legs. Myo was readmitted to the hospital, and the doctor told Myo's parents that his surgery would cost 20,000,000 kyat (approx. $11,000 USD). When they told the doctor that they cannot afford to pay for his surgery, a nurse gave them the phone number of an abbot in Yangon. After they called the abbot and told him what the doctor had said, the abbot referred Myo to our medical parter Burma Children Medical Fund for the assistance accessing the cardiac treatment he needs. Currently, Myo is on oxygen. If he does not receive oxygen, he has difficulty breathing as well as heart palpitations. He cannot walk for more than three minutes and if he does, he feels extremely tired. His whole family is worried about his condition. Fortunately, Myo's surgery has been scheduled for May 8th. He will have both valves of his heart replaced. His family needs $1,500 to help with the total cost of his surgery and care. Myo’s mother said, “I would give up everything to save my son’s life. I would sleep on the ground if we had no home to live in. I only wish to see my son getting better.”
La is a 36-year-old mother of three children. She is married and her husband works as a construction worker. To help support her family, she sells soft drinks and coffee from her home. The couple has one son and two daughters, who are all in public school. In her free time, La enjoys walking her children to and from school, cooking, and, after a long day, watching television. Five years ago, La injured her left knee and she has experienced intermittent pain since the injury. Unfortunately, in December 2021, she was involved in a motorbike accident where she re-injured the same knee. After an x-ray, she was diagnosed with an aneurysmal bone cyst, or a benign, blood-filled lesion in the bone that often expands or grows. She experiences severe pain and now has difficulty walking. To treat her condition, surgeons plan to remove the cyst from her left knee and help to heal the joint. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), is helping La receive treatment. On April 9th, surgeons will perform a procedure to relieve La of her pain and allow her to walk easily. Now, she needs help raising $273 to fund her procedure and care. La shared, "I am thankful that I will be able to return to work and care for my children after this surgery."
Thein is a 56-year-old man who lives with his family in a refugee camp. Two of his daughters and his son-in-law work as seasonal workers outside of the camp, while Thein and his wife look after their three grandchildren, send them to school, and care for the household chores. In January, Thein was diagnosed with a cataract in his right eye and an early cataract in his left eye. Currently, he cannot see with his right eye, as his vision is blurry, and the vision in his left eye is also beginning to blur. As a result, Thein cannot walk easily and relies on a bamboo staff to help stabilize him as he tries to avoid tripping on any objects in his path. He shared that he feels discomforted and like he is living in darkness. Fortunately, Thein was able to visit our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), and they can help him heal. On March 8th, doctors will perform a lens replacement. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund this procedure. Thein shared, “When I recover from surgery, I will help my family plant and water vegetables around the house. It can save us money from buying the vegetables. I can help send my grandchildren to school and pick them up in the evening. I will also be able to visit my friend.”
Irene is a beautiful baby girl and the only child in her family. Irene's mother is young and was still in school when she was born, so they are living with her grandmother. Her grandmother sells charcoal to earn a living and it is hard for them to make ends meet each month. Irene has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. When Irene was one month old, her mother noticed that her head was increasing in size. She took her to a nearby facility for examination, and was then referred to another facility who admitted her for a few days; however despite medication, her condition did not change. Irene was discharged and sent home, but a few days later she developed a fever so her mother took her back to the previous facility. After another examination, Irene was finally referred to our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Hospital. Irene’s mother did not have the funds to cover their transport to BethanyKids, but with help from medical staff they were able to make it to the hospital with a social workers accompaniment. On arrival, Irene was booked for a shunt insertion surgery to help treat her condition. Without treatment, Irene will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $720 to cover the cost of Irene's surgery to treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 9th, during which surgeons will drain the excess fluid from Irene's brain to reduce the pressure inside her head. This will greatly improve her quality of life, and allow her to develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Irene’s mother says, “It is a difficult moment for us for the past few months and we did not know if she will be treated as we do not have funds for the surgery.”
Florence is a loving mother of seven. She and her husband work as small-scale farmers and live in a grass-thatched home with their family. Her husband also takes on masonry work to help earn more income. Over a decade ago, Florence began to experience troubling symptoms, including a swelling on her neck. After she gave birth to her last-born child, she visited a local health center where doctors determined she was experiencing a pregnancy-related condition that would heal soon. However, Florence’s symptoms never improved, and the swelling increased over time. When Florence learned about our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), and their successful thyroid removal treatments, she visited AMH care center for review. Doctors diagnosed her condition as a multinodular goiter, which is an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. Florence will need surgery to address her symptoms and ensure she can finally heal. Fortunately, Florence will undergo a thyroidectomy on January 10th at AMH’s care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. AMH is requesting $936 to fund Florence’s procedure. Florence shared, “I would like to have my strength back again. My children need my efforts as a mother.”
Naomi is an energetic but shy 4-year-old She is the fifth born in a family of six children. Naomi's parents do farm work growing some maize, beans, and cassava for food. When the harvest is good they sell the extra for an income. Her mother also sells some vegetables in the market. What they earn is not enough to cover the cost of treatment that their daughter needs. Naomi was diagnosed with genu valgus, where her legs bow inwards. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, She cannot walk easily and without pain. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Naomi. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 3rd. Treatment will hopefully restore Naomi's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Naomi’s mother says, “I would really like for my daughter to walk without having pain. Please help us be able to get her this surgery.”
Win is a 40-year-old man. He lives with his mother and step-father in Tak Province in Thailand. He used to work in a restaurant until his vision deteriorated and he could no longer work. His mother and his step-father are agricultural day labourers. The income they earn is not enough for their family and sometimes they make and sell charcoal to earn extra money. Win has cataracts in both his eyes but the doctor plans to do surgery on his right eye first. The vision in both his eyes are so poor that he can only perceive light. His mother has to help look after him, washing and feeding him since he cannot see well. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Win. On November 9th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Win's natural lens and replace it with an intraocular lens implant. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. "I was so happy when I heard that I will be able to see again," he said. "I want to work once I can see again, so that I can repay our loan. I want to look after my mother and step-father in the future, and one day I want to become a [Buddhist] monk."
Naw Day is a 31-year-old pregnant woman who lives with her husband and three-year-old son in a refugee camp in Northern Thailand. Naw Day works as a high school teacher, however since August 2021, schools have been closed in the refugee camp due to an increase in COVID-19 cases. She currently only works one day a week, where she helps clean the school. Naw Day and her husband are expecting their second child. Her doctor has recommended that she give birth through a scheduled Caesarean section to ensure a safe arrival for her baby. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) is helping Naw Day to receive labor and delivery care. On October 8th, she will deliver her baby via C-Section. Now, their family needs help raising $1,500 to fund a healthy and safe delivery for her and her baby. Naw Day shared, "Thank you for helping me."
Carlens is a three-year-old boy from Haiti. He lives with his parents and three siblings in a neighborhood in the capital city. He likes playing with blocks and drawing pictures. Carlens was born with a condition called aortic valve stenosis, in which one of the four valves of his heart is too small to allow blood to flow through normally. This causes his heart to work too hard, leaving him feeling sick and weak. Fortunately, our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is helping Carlens to receive treatment. On September 9th, doctors will use a catheter with a balloon at the end to stretch the valve open so that his heart can pump blood more normally. Now, his family needs help to raise $1,500 towards the cost of his procedure and care. Carlens' mother shared, "we are very hopeful that our son will have more energy and will become stronger after his surgery!"
Victor is a newborn baby and the youngest child in a family of six children. His parents are both casual laborers who sell groceries for a living. When Victor and his mom arrived home from the hospital after his birth, he was crying often and his mother and aunt became concerned. They examined him and noticed that his stomach was swollen and he was not able to pass his stool. Upon examination, he was scheduled for an urgent colostomy surgery the next day. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH) is helping Victor to receive treatment. On August 11th, he will undergo surgery at AMH's care center. Now, AMH is requesting $1,152 to fund Victor's life-saving procedure and care. Victor’s mother shared, “Victor’s condition is a big blow to us. It’s new to us and what’s worrying is that he cannot survive without surgery being done and we are not in a position to cater for that.”
Srey Pov is a 22-year-old factory worker from Cambodia. She has two brothers and two sisters. Srey Pov has been married for three years and her husband is a tractor driver. Together, they have one son. In March, Srey Pov was in a motor vehicle accident that caused paralysis of her left arm. She has been diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. She is unable to lift her left arm and she cannot work. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Center (CSC), is helping Srey Pov receive treatment. She traveled to CSC's care center where, on June 14th, she will undergo brachial plexus repair surgery. After recovery, she will be able to use her arm again. Now, she needs help to fund this $696 procedure. Srey Pov shared, "I hope I can use my arm again so I can return to work at the garment factory and do my housework."
Caren is a 17-year-old student and the oldest in a family of four children. She is a social girl who enjoys singing and reading books. In school, her best subjects are biology, chemistry and physics, and she hopes to be a doctor one day. Caren's father used to own a fish shop, but unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, his business closed. Caren was diagnosed with genu valgus, which means that her legs bow inwards and her knees touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones which often comes from contaminated drinking water. As a result of this condition, she has difficulty walking. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Caren. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 8th and treatment will hopefully restore Caren's mobility, allowing her to participate in a variety of activities and greatly decreasing her risk of future complications. Caren shared, "my legs hurt when I walk and the pain is usually too much during the evening and the morning hours. Each day they keep bending please help correct my legs."